Skip to main content

How to Make Spicy Tava Idli: Recipe and Photos

Cooking is one of my passions. I like to make nutritious and tasty foods at home without using preservatives or artificial colors.

Spicy Tava Idli—Yum!

Spicy Tava Idli—Yum!

Hot and Spicy Tava Idli

Idlis are a popular Indian breakfast dish that has recently gained popularity in the rest of the world because they are so healthy and delicious. In my household, we regularly make idlis, and even though they are tasty and nutritious, sometimes we get bored of eating the same old version. Regular idlis can be bland—they are often served with a spicy condiment or accompaniment like chutney, sambar, or sauce.

When we are short on time, making two items as a combo can be difficult. When you want a flavorful dish but are in a rush, tava idli is a perfect choice. This snack is hot and spicy and it doesn't require a side dish. It tastes completely different from regular idlis and is easy to make. It is also a great way to use up your leftover idlis.

Cook Time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

5 min

10 min

15 min

2 servings


  • 6–8 idlis, chopped to bite size
  • 1 tbsp ginger, grated or finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup onions, finely chopped
  • 3–4 tbsp oil
  • 1 cup tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp pav bhaji masala, available in Indian stores
  • 2 pinches turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp white lentils/urad dal
  • 1/4 tsp salt, to taste
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp coriander leaves, finely chopped
This spicy twist on traditional idlis doesn't require a chutney pairing.

This spicy twist on traditional idlis doesn't require a chutney pairing.

Step-By-Step Instructions

  1. Chop your idlis into bite-sized pieces. You can use leftover idlis for this. Refrigerating the idlis for some time makes them firm so that you can cut them properly.
  2. Heat oil in a deep-bottomed pan or wok. Add the mustard seeds and let them crackle. Throw in the white lentils and sauté them for 30 seconds.
  3. Add the finely chopped or grated ginger, the chopped onions, and the turmeric powder.
  4. Sauté everything together until the onions turn translucent. Throw in the chopped tomatoes and stir-cook them until they become mushy. By now, the oil should start separating near the edges.
  5. Add the red chili powder and pav bhaji masala. Sauté for 30 seconds on low heat. Add a few drops of water to keep the mix wet.
  6. Add some salt. Remember that idlis already have salt, so be careful not to add too much.
  7. Throw in the chopped idlis and add the lemon juice. Toss until all of the idli cubes are coated with the spicy masala.
  8. Add the finely chopped coriander leaves and mix well. Turn off the stove.
  9. Serve hot in a bowl and garnish with the finely chopped coriander leaves. Enjoy eating this hot and spicy tava idli!